Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sod houses were easily built shelters for early settlers

Following Canada's Homestead Act of 1872, eager settlers came to the prairies, glad of the chance to acquire farmland and willing to work hard for a better life.

For many, the first home was a simple sod hut like this one, located at the Ukrainian Village between Edmonton and Vegreville, Alberta.

Inside, there would be a small bed, a stove, a table and a little bit of storage space for the few belongings that this first generation of immigrant farmers possessed.

Living in these simple shelters, they broke land and planted gardens to help them survive those first harsh winters in the new land. When the basic shelters were ready, the settlers worked in bees and helped one another to build homes and barns. Often, the men went away to work on the railway or some other labouring job in order to earn cash to pay for the many supplies that were necessary to build a life and put down roots.

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